Business news

Kevin Meerschaert

Two weeks after being hired as CEO of the Jacksonville Port Authority, Deputy Miami Port Director Juan Kuryla has decided not take the job.

Kuryla called JAXPORT Board Chair Jim Citrano Thursday evening to let him know he was withdrawing his name. He didn't give an explanation for why he changed his mind, but there had been an outpouring of support from Miami officials urging his to stay.

Last week, Port of Miami's Director Bill Johnson said he was considering leaving his job and wanted someone ready to replace him if he leaves.

Human resources firm Adecco Staffing U.S. has ranked Jacksonville as the third best city to find a job right now, according this article from Forbes. The firm points to heavy hiring in fields such as education, healthcare and IT, and an unemployment rate of 6.5% for Jacksonville's ranking.

Kevin Meerschaert

The JAXPORT Board of Directors has named Miami's Deputy Port Director Juan Kuryla as its new CEO.  

Kuryla was one of eight candidates who met with Board members. Prior to the final vote, the list was cut down to three earlier on Monday.

Board members say they were impressed with him energy and vision.

Kuryla replaces Paul Anderson who left JAXPORT earlier this year to take charge of the Port of Tampa.

Board members did express concerns that Kuryla might leave if the top job becomes available in Miami in a few years.

Florida Times-Union

The Financial News & Daily Record and the Florida Times-Union are reporting that real estate trust firm SouthEast Holdings has bought the old Barnett Bank and the historic Laura Street Trio buildings in Downtown for $3 million. Financial backing for purchase came from Stache Investments Corp, headed by Jaguars owner Shahid Khan.

Cyd Hoskinson / WJCT

The children of a murdered store clerk who were reportedly refused a death-benefit payout because their mother’s employer didn’t pay workers compensation insurance premiums could be better off in the long-run. 

Thirty-two year old Zuheily Rosado was working at the Mobile Mart in Palm Coast on the night of February 21st when a gunman walked in and shot her to death. 


Hundreds of local and state officials gathered today for the ribbon cutting of Brazil-based Embraer’s aircraft assembly facility at Jacksonville International Airport.

The A-29 Super Tucanos will be used by the U-S Air Force in Afghanistan.

The aircraft will be used to conduct advanced flight training, aerial reconnaissance and light air support operations.

Kevin Meerschaert

    Business leaders and elected officials from across Northeast Florida gathered today for an economic summit hosted by Jax Chamber.

Much of the discussion was about how the counties can work together to maintain a strong business climate.

Officials from six area counties talked about the budget problems they had to face the past few years, but all say things are now starting to turn around.

One of the main issues was transportation and the need to work together to get major projects funded and built.


    Korea-based Hanjin shipping will not be building a terminal at Jaxport.

    Port officials say it was a mutual decision based on changes in the world economy.

Instead of building a terminal, Hanjin will be part of an alliance of Asian shipping lines using Jaxport on a rotating basis.

Through this agreement, a total of fifteen carriers with service between the East Coast and Asia will do business in Jacksonville.

Kevin Meerschaert

Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown has signed into law legislation to reinvest 11-million dollars for economic projects.

Nine-million will be allocated for development in the downtown area.

The other two million will be used for projects elsewhere in the city.

The money comes from savings after refinancing bonds.

Brown says the dollars will be used to encourage private investment in Jacksonville.


JEA customers can expect their next bill to be a little bit lower.

    The JEA Board Tuesday

approved a fuel credit at its monthly meeting.

    JEA Executive Director Paul McElroy says the savings come from a lower than expected cost in natural gas.

The one-time credit will work out to about 35-dollars for the average residential customer. Commercial customers a likely to see about a 2-thousand dollar credit.

  Huge cargo ships stocked with items from overseas. Big business. Potential threats to the environment.  All are part of the mix as the JAXPORT board announces its desire to dredge the St. Johns River to 47 feet to accomodate what are known as Panamax-ready ships. These are the huge freighters that could be drawn to Jacksonville once the Panama Canal is widened in the next couple of years.

A smart app that helps drivers find parking spots in downtown Jacksonville went live on Wednesday.

    Jacksonville has seen a sharp increase in the number of pedestrian and bicyclist traffic deaths in the past year.    
       Local law and traffic enforcement agencies are teaming to raise awareness of the problem and share how to avoid such accidents.
Sheriff John Rutherford says pedestrian traffic deaths jumped 39-percent in Jacksonville last year. Deaths of bicyclists jumped 80-percent.
       He says the main problem is that people lack awareness of their surroundings.

         Jacksonville’s Downtown Investment Authority says it does not think the city should waive a fee on new construction.
         The legislation is to be discussed and possibly voted on next  week in three city council committees.
         The mobility fee is paid by developers and is used to pay for transportation projects. It’s designed to encourage redevelopment close to the city’s core and limit sprawl.

    Two more feet of space for ships to travel the St. Johns River may mean the difference in bringing thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic development to JAXPORT.

The JAXPORT Board of Directors today (Monday) voted to seek dredging the St. Johns River to 47 feet, instead of the 45 feet recommended by the Army Corp of Engineers.

Marine economic development consultant John Martin says the extra two feet would allow for larger cargo ships to use MAYPORT.